Still, the FLAG program has had its share of critics who argue it could undermine assimilation, a position school board members have dismissed as antiquated.
“It’s the reality; we’re in a global economy and it’s important to learn multiple languages,” Greg Krikorian, vice president of the Glendale Unified Board of Education, said Tuesday.
The federal grants will allow for expansion of the dual language programs, making a dent in long standing wait lists.
Thomas Edison Elementary School’s Spanish FLAG program will be the first to expand when it lands at Toll Middle School.
Keppel’s Korean program is anticipating similar expansion by 2013 after first being added to another elementary school, administrators said.
“It gives them new ways to grow,” said Harkmore Lee, who’s daughter is a first-grader in the Korean program.
Front-loading the language is important to make learning a little more even for non-native students, educators said.